“Please don’t judge the company by today.” The salty Scottish Diver, Taylor said. As we sat outside a pub drinking a cup of the worst coffee I’d ever tasted. We were perched across the way from Peurto Colon Marina, off Playa de las Americas. He was going out for a second dive. My husband and I had opted to sit out the next one.
I was exhausted.
Diving Palm Mar Wall with choppy surface water and a fin which needed adjustment before entering, then a slipped tank, noticed on entry, had left me all tuckered out. Paul(our DM) sorted the adjustments needed whilst in the water.
With a depth of 17.8 metres, an amazing clarity in the water after some severely rainy days, this was the first time that Vince and I had dived in the Atlantic Ocean and it was turning out to be very different to the tropical diving we had experienced on previous trips.
A short video to give an idea of our moored location.
It was within the first 10 minutes of the dive, that for some reason, it really hit home that if there was a difficulty down in the deep blue, it would need to be sorted out in the undersea conditions.
The beauty of seeing a ray fly regally by, slowing only to observe us, and the privilege of seeing an octopus squish his ink in our direction, made my day.
The ascent was very controlled and challenging for my buoyancy skills. The dive in itself was enjoyable and different to anything I’d done before. The worst thing was when our GoPro decided to give up working as Vince descended – no underwater video for the blog. Bummer!
I think, know and feel I have so much to learn as a novice diver and when in each new place I dive, I meet new people and encounter different ways of doing things. I’m realising that so much trust is involved as a customer in every new company they choose to use and of course there are many styles of dive company and sites.
Tara of Tenerife Scuba Diving had been really helpful answering thoroughly the questions I’d asked on the run up to our visit, via e-mail. It wasn’t quite as thorough on the day (she wasn’t around) and the vibe I was picking up-seemed to be confirmed by Taylor’s statement to my husband and I over drinks.
I spoke to Paul the divemaster about my thoughts-as I did to Tim the owner. Little things, like the shop facilities in Playa de las Americas had no electricity – the guy in the shop told me the electricity had been cut off. Tim stated that it was due to the storms on the island, yet no other place in the locale seemed affected. So I ended up in the pitch black with my husband waiting outside the door, so I could leave it ajar a little and let in some light.
I don’t know if other people find it uncomfortable kitting up outside a shop with holiday makers walking by, but it isn’t the everyday thing for me and being voluptuous, I can at times feel self conscious when proceeding to squeeze myself into a wetsuit. I’ve managed to adjust my dive wear, for the warmer climates to make it easier for me, but as a 5mm suit was needed to dive in the 21° deep blue surrounding the island, a lot of squeezing was involved.
After not practicing kitting up for a while between trips, everything seemed to move at a quick pace. There’s not much call where I live and with the work I do as a writer, to connect regulator to tank on a daily basis. I felt it just needed to move a little slower for me, whilst I got my head back into a scuba diving gear.
I’d also never been on a rib, diving before and so asked Paul the Dive Master for some rib diving direction on the way to site and he was informative and knowledgeable.
The only thing that I didn’t find ok, when in the boat, was the fact that we were all seated whilst it fueled up. I was concerned about the dangerous side of such a task more than anything and so spoke to a PADI rep in the UK on my return to find out, if this sort of procedure was normal and/or safe. Lynn informed me that as long as there weren’t lit cigarettes or anything like that on board, then it was perfectly fine.
Learning about the health and safety aspects of the sport and developing my diving knowledge and experience, is important to me as I continue building my diving resume. So to me, these questions I seek answers of, are important.
Customer Care also sits highly on my priority list, as I’ve already stated in my Ryanair post.
What’s important to you, when you go scuba diving, what are your expectations and where have you experienced excellent customer service?
I’d love to know your thoughts…